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The BNH Book Review: How I Built This

Published Wednesday Jan 5, 2022

Author Terri Schlichenmeyer of The Bookworm Sez

“How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success From the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs”
by Guy Raz
2020/HMH Books
$28/320 pages

Being an entrepreneur isn’t intuitive. It might not be the best option for your life now or ever. Then again, you might be burning with ideas and solutions to problems you’ve spotted, but feeling rudderless.

Paralyzing fear is normal, says Guy Raz in his book, “How I Built This.” Just understand that scary things can usually be overcome by educating yourself. Know yourself, too, and understand your ability to accept risk.

On that note, think twice before giving up your day job too early. Especially if you are eyeing an industry in which you have no experience, be sure to do your research, and then do it again. Because it’s rare for an entrepreneur to go it alone, find a co-founder you can work well with and trust. Know the different ways to raise capital, and add a good lawyer to your toolbox. Always remain flexible. Recognize what your competition is doing and look for ways to slip into the market through a “side door.”

And know how to get through those times when you start questioning your decision to be an entrepreneur. Every businessperson has them. You will, too.

Raz starts his book with the basics of entrepreneurship, answering the hard questions of readiness and willingness through the examples he cites; then he quickly moves on to the nitty-gritty of bringing a new product to consumers. The tales here come from businesses both large and small, well-known and niche, and while Raz weaves instructional advice in his chapters, he seems to let the tales do most of the talking.

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